Dry Eyes and Blepharitis
If your eyes sometimes feel burny, stingy, gritty, and intermittently fuzzy, you might have dry eyes. Suffering with dry eyes is frustratingly common, and can be caused by a huge number of variables: age, diet, sleep deprivation, poor/dry air quality in your environment, dehydration, medication, prolonged close work or computer use - the list goes on. These tasks cause us to have a reduced blink-rate, so our tears evaporate much more readily. Read on for some tips on how to improve the quality of your tears and keep your eyes lubricated.
If the above sounds all too familiar for you and your eyes, book an online consultation with one of our optometrists. It's an easy and convenient process that you can do right from the comfort of your own home. You also get the cost of the check-up back to you in credit which you can use throughout the Eyebou website.
5 tips to improve the quality of your tears:
- Focus on maintaining your hydration: this can feel like a part time job, but your symptoms may always remain if your body is chronically dehydrated.
- Diet: consider adding flaxseed to your diet (whole or oil form). Flaxseed (also called linseed) contains both Omega 3 & 6 which is great for lubricating the front of your eyes. Vitamin A is also great for maintaining your corneal health and is available in multivitamin form.
- Improve meibomian gland function: use the Graphene Heated Eye Mask together with eyelid massaging to stimulate and improve gland function whilst clearing any gland blockages. Ideally, your glands will function best if you can be consistent with this and work it into your bed-time routine. Doing this consistently 2-3 times per week will even make a difference.
- Invest in a humidifier. Improving the humidity in the air around you will help your eyes feel more comfortable, especially if you have to work at a screen all day.
- Artificial tear drops: lubricating eye drops, like Vizulize VIZcellose, are designed to lubricate and moisturise the surface of your eyes. There are hundreds of different artificial tears available on the market, but we suggest using one that is preservative free and gentle on your eyes.
Artificial tears should be used to provide immediate relief from dry eye symptoms, but they don’t treat the causes of dry eye. This is due to the fact that the eyelids are designed to pump tears & moisture away from the eye - as a result, the drops only stay on the front of the eye for a short time once instilled. The best way to instil eye drops, is to face yourself in the mirror, hold your lower eyelid gently downwards to expose a small sac, and instil 1-2 drops of the artificial tear drops into this sac.
If you're a contact lens wearer, Eyebou's vitamin daily contact lenses are infused with vitamins B6, B12, and E which help promote the quantity and quality of tears, which may help keep your eyes feeling refreshed.
OK, but could it be Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a very common inflammation of the eyelid margin, causing the eyelids to become red, eyelashes to get crusty, and can make the eyes feel irritated and gritty.
Blepharitis is a chronic (long-term) condition, meaning that once you’ve had it, it can come back even after it has cleared up. It normally affects both eyes, and you can treat it through a consistent eyelid hygiene routine.
3-step Blepharitis eyelid routine:
- The first step is to use the Graphene Heated Eye Mask. Heat the mask according to the packet instructions, and lay it over your closed eyes for approximately 10 minutes. The direct delivery of heat to your eyelid glands improves their function, and also melts down any blockages within them.
- Massage your eyelids; use an upwards motion of the lower lids and a downwards motion of the top lids to evacuate any material within your meibomian glands, and encourage improved gland function. These glands secrete oil, which stops your natural tears from evaporating too quickly.
- Use Lumecare eyelid wipes to clean across the lash line, gently removing any crusty build up from the root of your eye lashes. Please ensure that you close your eye when cleaning the top lash line, using your other open eye to watch what you're doing carefully. Using a magnifying make-up/shaving mirror is extremely useful for this step.